Why Millennials Aren't 'Cutting The Cord' Yet

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - For all the hubbub about TV viewers "cutting the cord," or canceling more expensive cable or satellite subscriptions in favor of only Internet-based video streaming through Amazon (AMZN) , Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu, adult "millennials," the group most likely to do away with traditional services, haven't done so "en masse." At least not yet.

That's because shows on Time Warner's (TWX) HBO, Viacom's (VIA) Comedy Central and live sports keep them glued to their TV subscriptions, according to an April 2014 eMarketer report. EMarketer is a digital marketing, media and commerce research firm.

"The proliferation of digital video has raised the specter of large-scale 'cord cutting' by millennials," the report states. "The plausible premise is that millennials get so much video online that they see little incentive to pay for cable or satellite service, or for premium channels. However, buzz about this topic has gotten ahead of changes that may someday manifest in actual behavior."

To be sure, the age group is indeed more likely than older demographics to forgo pay-TV services, "as one would expect of people who have tight budgets and the technological savvy to access tons of free online video," but "they have yet to cut those cords en masse," the report said. A November 2013 poll by Verizon (VZ) Digital Media Services found that 13% of millennials, people ages 18-34, make do without any pay-TV service, which is higher than non-millennials (9%), but not high in absolute terms, eMarketer noted in the report.

They also spend less on their overall cable package because of the availability of digital video like Google's (GOOG) YouTube. The report cited a July 2013 survey by Altman Vilandrie, in which 47% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 40% of 25- to 34-year-olds said they spent less on cable due to digital video.

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